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EE4J Code Begins the Journey to Open Source

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The EE4J project, which was created to manage the Eclipse Foundation’s stewardship of Java EE technologies following Oracle’s decision to open source them, is starting to gain traction.

Soon after the project was created, EclipseLink and Yasson (the official reference implementation of Java JSON Binding, JSR-367) became the first two projects to be transferred under the EE4J umbrella. As reported in December, the announcement was made that seven more projects were being proposed.

Whilst the creation of these projects and the availability of binaries via Eclipse signals a step on the path, the whole point of an open source project is that the source code is also available. Now code has started to flow into the repositories on Github as well. On January 11th, Dmitry Kornilov announced that the source code for the JSON-P project had been pushed into its GitHub repository within the EE4J organization. At the time of writing, JSON-P has been joined by the sources for the Websocket API, the JMS API and Jax-RS. The EclipseLink and Yasson projects have also made their source code available, but only so far as downloads via the Eclipse site rather than the collaborative GitHub environment.

Kornilov is the spec leader for JSON-P and his initial commits to Github represent the culmination of a series of necessary tasks that included Oracle transferring ownership of trademarked project names like Glassfish to the Eclipse Foundation. The Oracle team also had to update the file headers in the code to include the Eclipse Public License 2.0 it will now be available under and package it up for delivery. Staff at the Eclipse Management Organisation (EMO) had to review the project proposals, create the projects, provision repositories, set up committer lists and scan the code for possible remaining IP before approving the first check-in.

Kornilov announced the event on the ee4j community mailing list on January 11 and his excitement is evident. Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation, expressed on his blog that now this path has been forged, the remaining eight initial projects will quickly follow suit “Hopefully by the end of this month”.

However the complexity of the task in hand is evident from the minutes of the January meeting of the EE4J Project Management Committee, which reports that licensing concerns have arisen over implementation projects of Eclipse Ozark. This project is currently licensed under the Apache-2.0 license, which conflicts with the current licensing scheme of EE4J projects. This would also affect the MicroProfile project if it was to move under the EE4J umbrella project at Eclipse. Also, concerns over Oracle’s preference for restricting the use of the word “java” in package naming due to corporate branding concerns, has prompted Reza Rahman to write an open letter about the issue on the Java EE Guardians website which has prompted debate on the ee4j community mailing list.

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